The Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew: What We Can Do As Pet Parents
Healthy Paws is no stranger to hurricanes and disaster relief. Our co-founder Steve Siadek flew down to help with relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rescuing over 1,000 pets in 10 days. As we see the destruction of Hurricane Matthew, we are reminded that being prepared can help save your family’s life—and that includes your pets—and that there are many people who are suffering right now who could use some help.
Our company has begun to see Hurricane Matthew-related claims slowly trickle in, and we stand ready to help each pet parent who needs it:
- We’re dedicated to processing claims from the storm zone as quickly as possible, even if that means information is limited.
- We can also hold onto claim checks until you are settled elsewhere or able to return home.
- If you have been displaced or have a new temporary address, let us know so we can update our records.
If you want to help hurricane-survivors and their pets in your area, we have a few ideas. We’ve written about being a prepared pet parent before, but here are some tips that stand out in the aftermath:
- Put together a medical kit. Medical supplies like hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic wipes, an instant cold pack, and antibiotic ointment should always be handy. Cotton swabs, gauze pads, latex gloves, and adhesive tape are also good to pack into a medical kit. Check out our list of items for a first aid kit that could save a life. And remember – never give an animal human medication like Tylenol and Benadryl without first consulting a veterinarian!
- If you are volunteering with a local shelter, bring an emergency survival kit. It should contain water, dog and cat food, medical supplies, towels, and crates and kennels to help contain pets. Make sure any documents you may need are sealed in a Ziploc bag or some other watertight container.
- Donate to an organization like the ASPCA. The ASPCA Disaster Response Team is working hard in the Southeastern United States assisting animals, local animal control, and shelters affected by Hurricane Matthew. They’ve assisted nearly 1,000 animals so far, but are expecting that number to grow as pet parents return to their homes.